The 10 Best Drawing Tablets

Updated June 10, 2018 by Sam Kraft

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Edit, share, or retouch existing pieces and create new documents, images, and drawings with one of these innovative drawing tablets. We've included feature-heavy expert models that are suitable for architects, graphic designers, and artists, as well as some more budget-friendly options that will allow children and teenagers to hone their artistic skills. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best drawing tablet on Amazon.

10. Huion 1060 Plus

A total of 12 express keys and 16 soft keys, all of which are customizable, should be enough to get you started on your next masterpiece with the Huion 1060 Plus. It also comes with a carrying case to keep your device protected on the go.
  • includes a low-friction glove
  • comes with a memory card
  • coating may wear off over time
Brand Huion
Model Huion 1060 Plus
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Huaker LCD

You have to get started somewhere, right? Designed specifically for helping children to learn the craft, the Huaker LCD is nearly as simple as drawing on paper. It even comes with a magnet for hanging finished works on your refrigerator.
  • one-touch erase button
  • screen is bright and resilient
  • does not have many features
Brand Huaker
Model pending
Weight 5 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Wacom Intuos Pro

Depending on your drawing area size needs, the Wacom Intuos Pro is available in small, medium, or large. Plus, it’s capable of sensing over 8,000 levels of pen pressure, which gives you optimal control over line weight and thickness.
  • wireless usb adapter
  • includes a pen stand
  • side buttons are tough to use
Brand Wacom
Model PTH660
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Huion H610 Pro

The aesthetically attractive and relatively high-value Huion H610 Pro means serious creative business without an excessive investment. It can be used to send personalized notes, create stunning works of art, or mock up a new product freehand.
  • rechargeable pen
  • little to no lag while drawing
  • compatible with macs and pcs
Brand Huion
Model H610 Pro
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Wacom Intuos Art

The Wacom Intuos Art expands the number of possibilities for artists, architects, and other creative thinkers. It allows you to use your fingers, its customizable keys, a stylus, or a mouse to create art, line drawings, or to jot out equations.
  • ideal for retouching photographs
  • comes in black or blue
  • pen does not require a battery
Brand Wacom
Model CTH490AK
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. XP-Pen Star

One of the primary selling points of the XP-Pen Star is its powerful battery — you’ll get up to 14 hours of continuous use out of this device on a full charge. It’s compatible with most types of drawing software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint.
  • clean and space-saving design
  • comes with a decent user manual
  • 6 shortcut keys
Brand XP-PEN
Model Star05
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Ugee M1000L

An exciting tool for young artists and novices who are just getting into tablet drawing, the Ugee M1000L is both simple and stimulating. It’s also very affordable, yet comes with lots of useful features, so users won't outgrow it too quickly.
  • works for lefties and righties
  • 8 customizable hot keys
  • installation cd
Brand Ugee
Model M1000L
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Wacom Bamboo

Measuring 9.8 by 6.9 inches, the Wacom Bamboo will easily slide into most briefcases or laptop bags and won't take up much space on your desktop. Installation takes only a few minutes, so you’ll be editing photos or creating digital sketches in no time.
  • textured surface feels like paper
  • built-in editing software
  • suitable for beginners and experts
Brand Wacom
Model CTH460
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Ugee M708 Art

If you haven’t dabbled much in tablet drawing but want to try it, the Ugee M708 Art is a smart choice to start with. It has eight simple hot keys and a brush tool you can use to enhance or weaken your image, and it also comes with a two-finger glove.
  • 10-inch by 6-inch working area
  • effortless to zoom in and out
  • controls are easy to learn
Brand Ugee
Model pending
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Huion GT-220

The screen is what sets the Huion GT-220 apart — it delivers consistent high-definition clarity, superior color accuracy and impressive light transmission, no matter how you’re viewing it. The two included digital pens are sensitive and comfortable to hold.
  • strong screen protector
  • stand with adjustable angle
  • backed by a 1-year warranty
Brand Huion
Model GT-220 v2 Black
Weight 16.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Who Drawing Tablets Are Great For

If you've ever tried to draw on a computer using a mouse, you know how difficult it is to draw a straight line, let alone a recognizable picture. The necessity of a drawing tablet is obvious if your job or habits require even the slightest bit of digitization. Graphic designers, engineers, architects, and digital artists all find great use for drawing tablets.

Drawing tablets can also make editing photos extremely simple. Some models even offer buttons on the tablet itself, which you can assign to functions you use often - like the zoom and brush tools. Plus, the low lag time and smooth feel of a stylus makes for quicker, smoother edits, with less need to spam those hotkeys. Hobby artists and animators are also turning to drawing tablets as simple ways to create and save their work before making questionable edits. You can draw 5 different scenes on the same saved background, rather than having to hand draw or photocopy the same image over again.

A teacher utilizing a drawing tablet can make edits to presentations in real time, enhancing the retention rate of the information being taught. A student can utilize a drawing tablet to leave digital notes in their e-book, and propel their learning forward. Drawing tablets are even well suited to filling out digital forms. Instead of having to print out the documents, fill them in by hand, and scan them into a computer before sending them; you can simply input data into the form using your drawing tablet.

Things To Consider Before Choosing A Drawing Tablet

When choosing your drawing tablet, there are many factors to consider. One of the most important deciding factors is the sensitivity of the tablet. In early models, this was the factor that was lacking most. Presently, some models have thousands of levels of sensitivity. Whether you want to barely glance the page or make deep, gouging marks in it; if you are doing sensitive work, you need to make sure your drawing tablet can keep up.

The latency and response time of your drawing tablet are also important factors to consider before making a purchase. In most tablets, this has to do with the relationship between the drawing tablet and its input device – the digital pen. Advanced digital pens contain accelerometers to gauge the movement, angle, pressure, and contact with the tablet surface. The pen creates a different type of mark depending on these measurements. If there is any noticeable lag time between your drawing hand and the lines showing up on the computer screen, this can spell disaster. Lines that are too long and need erasing, shading that is not sensitive enough and must be redone; the problems of having a slow response time are endless.

The size of the tablet also comes into play. If you're an artist who likes to work with long lines and open areas without having to stop the creative flow to adjust your working area, then a tablet with a large working surface is the one for you. If your drawing tablet will be just one of many tools in your computer bag, you may be able to sacrifice on size to save space.

You will want to consider your available budget for a drawing tablet as well. Factor in how much you are going to be using the tablet when deciding how much to spend on one. If your job requires you to use a drawing tablet heavily, you would obviously not want the cheapest model you can find. On the other hand, if you simply need a tablet once a week to create a realistic signature on documents, you don’t need to buy the highest quality tablet to do so.

The Invention Of The Drawing Tablet

Though it may seem like the drawing tablet is a recent invention, it isn’t. The first device that resembled modern drawing tablets was known as the telautograph, and it was invented in 1888. It was essentially two pens connected over a distance by wires, and acted much like a standard telegraph. As the artist or writer moved the first pen on its page, electrical impulses would be sent to the second pen. These impulses told the second pen exactly what to do to recreate the image. This device is also the precursor to the fax machine.

The next generation of graphic conversion tablets would come in the late 50s and early 60s, and brought about the use of wires and magnets to determine where the stylus was on the tablet. In these tablets, it was the stylus which transmitted information to the computer to be digitized.

Drawing tablets enjoyed a boom in the 70s and 80s, as computer-aided design first began to take hold. The first tablet which was able to measure a ”Z” axis was created in the 1980s. The link between personal computing and the use of a drawing tablet has grown steadily over time. Modern technology allows for pinpoint accuracy and virtually zero lag time, but the function of the tablets has not changed much since their early predecessors.

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Last updated on June 10, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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